Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Celes Chere

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

<–Squall Leonhart

*Potential spoilers for everything involving the topic character and their game.

CW: Discussions of depression and suicide.


Name: Celes Chere
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Job: Imperial General
Age: 18/19

Major Arcana: The Hanged Man – Picking Celes’ card was so much harder than I originally thought it would be.  I’d pegged her as either The High Priestess or The Empress since those are the typical female defaults, but Celes isn’t a “typical female” (whatever that means anyway).  She’s a woman general, a typically masculine job, and she’s young, really young.  Everything about her seems to exist as a unity of opposites to Terra, the other main female character.  She’s heavenly (Celes as in “celestial”) to Terra’s “earth;” ice to Terra’s fire; and she’s a high ranking military officer to Terra’s bondage.  Of course Celes is bound herself even before her arrest, which is proven by her very imprisonment .  She acted on her conscious after disillusionment with the Empire and wound up sentenced to death.  Her entire existence, occupation, and powers were entirely predicated on the Empire’s whims, but it isn’t until she defies Imperial orders that she understands that…and realizes that even someone completely raised and indoctrinated into a regime can still be themselves.  There’s an ineffable quality to a person that can override even the deepest programming if pushed to the limit.

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Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Cecil Harvey

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

Squall Leonhart–>

Name: Cecil Harvey
Game: Final Fantasy IV
Job: Dark Knight/Paladin
Age: 20

And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.
And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.
-Joseph Campbell “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”

Major Arcana: Temperance – Cecil (whom I’ve written a full character analysis on before) is the perfect balance of two distinct worlds..  This revelation is foreshadowed in how he manages to reconcile his dark side and become a paladin even before he discovers the full truth of his origins.


Zodiac: Virgo with a Libra moon – Virgos are typically analytical, hardworking, kind, and practical.  They worry often, are shy, and don’t like being the center of attention.  They’re also modest, faithful, quiet, and persuasive with a good sense of reasoning and memory.

This sign seems to be the perfect fit for Cecil.  The eventual paladin is described as a quiet, young man of unsurpassed skill with the dark blade.  He never comes off as a braggart or someone who desires attention just for attention’s sake.  The opening FMV shows him in contemplation with Rosa, and we know from the game’s story that the Dark Knight feels unworthy of the White Mage’s love and worries he’ll never live up to what he thinks she deserves.  However, he’s utterly devoted to her, nor does he ever give up on Kain even when the dragoon knight turns against his best friend.  Cecil does break faith with the king of Baron, but only because he refuses to kill a child (Rydia of Mist) after (inadvertently) burning down her village and slaying her mother as the king’s pawn.  His reasoning remains sound to the point of overriding orders he finds morally repugnant.

The Libra moon adds another layer of rationality.  They tend to be peacemakers, and Cecil is literally the synthesis and the balance of two planets.  He’s the light side of the moon who remains steadfast even in the face of earth shattering revelations that could easily cause an existential crisis.


Alignment: Lawful Good – Up until the events of the game, particularly his mission to Mist, Cecil had no major issues following this path, though we do see him questioning the king on the opening flight back to Baron.  When his orders unequivocally demanded he kill a child, Cecil withstood the inner conflict to go against such an abhorrent act.


Myers-Briggs Personality Type: ISFJ (Introversion-Sensing-Feeling-Judging) – Cecil is definitely an introvert.  Final Fantasy has the distinctive trend of main characters that fit this trait, which is pretty awesome.  Since he’s captain of the Red Wing fleet, sensing seems more practical than intuition, and at one point he plans to go after the seven Crystals already stolen, while Golbez searches for the one he doesn’t yet have, a wholly sensible plan.

I went back and forth between F and T, but settled on the former, since Cecil’s first major decision was based on a personal value, the belief that killing children is wrong no matter what you’re ordered to do (take that “I was just following orders”).  He also adds the destruction of Mist and the death of Rydia’s mother to his growing cache of guilt.  His inability to give up on Kain showcases the trait of looking for the best in people, and he values forgiveness not only for his troubled adopted brother, but also seeks it himself.

Cecil isn’t wishy-washy, and being a captain/soldier, he’d have a sense of rules and deadlines with plans in place.  After Kain returns to his rightful self, the paladin forgives him immediately with no grudge left to hold.  This led me to pick judging for the final piece.

ISFJ is considered The Defender, which solidifies my decision to affix this personality type to Cecil .  People like this rarely sit idle while a worthy cause remains unfinished.  They don’t feel comfortable in the spotlight, but they’ll endure it to ensure what needs to be done is done.


Diagnosis: Cecil is pretty level headed, but it’s possible he’s dealing with some depression at the beginning of the game when he’s still a Dark Knight.  There are also some self-esteem issues, too, since he believes he doesn’t deserve Rosa, a White Mage, for this very same reason even though she obviously loves him.  He’s been forced to fit himself into the wrong role by his adopted father and king, and it’s causing a major identity crisis.  He’s not sure what he’s supposed to be, but he knows it’s not supposed to be that.  The majority of this is alleviated when he becomes a paladin and literally defeats his darker self.  However the identity crisis gains a new facet due the mirror’s light at the top of Mt. Ordeals calling him “son.”

Despite all of this, Cecil is still probably one of the most balanced characters and/or balanced main characters in Final Fantasy.  This could be due to the fact that he has an existential crisis to deal with from the get-go, so when the more prominent one occurs much later in the game, he’s better prepared.  His identity didn’t so much change from Dark Knight to Paladin as be revealed for the latter after the forced and false one was literally slain.


What do you think of my assessments of this character?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Would you pick another Major Arcana, astrological sign, alignment, MBTI, and/or diagnosis?  Let’s discuss in the comments and let me know whom you want me to do next!

Squall Leonhart–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XX Judgement

<–XIX The Sun                                                                                     XXI The World–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XX Judgement

judgement-the-lifestream

If I’d remembered that Judgement was also called “The Angel,” I might have considered a different angle per se.  Be that as it is, the Lifestream from FFVII was my first and solid choice.  The souls of the Planet is also the spirit and the will of the Planet that would have found humanity wanting and worthy of destruction save for one soul thrust there before her natural time who prayed for our salvation.  It’s a good thing Aeris had that job and that compassion.  I would’ve let humanity rot.  All of our actions were drawn up into that moment, and it is a close judgement call who or what did or would’ve done more damage: us or the impending meteor.  The Lifestream neutralized one and would’ve ousted the other (arguably if we consider Advent it partially did with geostigma), save for that “divine” and innocent intervention.  I could think of no better concept for judgement than this, though there are some pretty close alternates.


Alternates: Mt. Ordeals (IV), Kefka (VI), The Iifa Tree (IX), Sin (X)

I was this close to picking Mt. Ordeals after Mr. Panda guessed it last week.  I don’t know how I never considered it before, because it is the perfect example of judgement, almost ironically so, as Cecil has been judging himself quite harshly throughout the entire game up to this time.  When he reaches the summit of the mountain where all others have been deemed unworthy and turned away, he discovers that Ordeals was indeed made for him, a message left his father KluYa, which is why all others failed before.  The only reason I didn’t pick this excellent example is because Mt. Ordeals is a singular judgement, put in place for one person, whereas the Lifestream is a universal judgement meant for all of humanity.

I couldn’t help thinking of Kefka’s “Light of Judgment” when I saw this card.  This is not a just ruling, though, but rather one from a twisted, maniacal, false “god.”  Sin is in a similar vein.  Though the religion of Yevon believes it exists for their atonement, digging deeper reveals the truth (and also the game’s heavily Gnostic and religiously skeptical leanings).  The Iifa Tree is *spoiler* another artificial/contrived tool of judgment.  Installed by Garland in order to exchanged the souls of Gaia for those of Terra, *end spoiler* it’s revered as a sanctuary *spoiler* until this truth is revealed *end spoiler*

The Lifestream is the true and universal judgement that has no hidden agenda or original nefarious purpose.

Also I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but the Lifestream looks a hell of a lot like the northern lights.

northern-lights

This is not something I considered when I wrote the eponymous fanfiction, but now that I see it, I wonder if Squeenix did it on purpose.  The aurora is (among other things) a reaction of particles with the earth”s magnetic field, which protects us from dangerous radiation from the sun.  Therefore, the northern lights are a sign of the planet’s protection…


No one guessed the card, but there were a few guesses for the alternatives.  I’ve already mentioned Mr. Panda’s Mt. Ordeals that almost swayed me, and   iplayedthegame and LightningEllen both guessed Sin.

Next week is the last for this project!  The card is The World, which could be considered a dead giveaway or an impossible choice.  I’ll also give the final scores, and oh crap, I need to create some sort of prize :p

Happy (final) guessing!

<–XIX The Sun                                                                                     XXI The World–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XIX The Sun

<–XVIII The Moon                                                                                XX Judgment–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XIX The Sun

the-sun-eiko

Eiko artwork by Yoshitaka Amano

The Sun is a card of triumph, simple pleasures, and truth.  In opposition to the Moon, which symbolizes inspiration from dreams and otherwordly visions, the Sun is much more in your face and wide awake; intellect and youthful energy. I had quite a time figuring this one out.  Final Fantasy boasts many characters with this quality, but I knew I needed someone who was not only childlike, but also a child.

Eiko literally flips the meaning of the Moon in giving Dagger clarity and closure on the princess’s oldest dreams.  The little girl is the truth giver, revealing Garnet’s origins, welcoming her home, even as Eiko herself enjoys the pleasure of companionship in the breaking of solitude.  While the sun’s light may not always fall on the happiest memories, it will still always show it plain, lighting a clear path, and giving you the courage to forge ahead armed with new revelations.


Alternates: Porom (IV), Relm (VI), Selphie (VIII), Rikku (X)

I was very close to picking Porom, since intellect and youthful energy are major components of the Sun card.  Because he’s an irascible, five-year-old mage in training, I thought he would make a good match, but my own bias came into play.  I’m not overly fond of Porom’s character (I like him even less in The After Years), and besides that, I’d already used Rydia from IV in The Moon entry.  Not that I’m averse to using the same game twice in a row, but since I had another (and imo better) option, I figured I’d use it.

Relm from VI would certainly fit the artistic side of the card, along with the youthful energy, and she could arguably fulfill some of the truth aspect in reference to Shadow, but FFVI was very good at keeping that vague.  Eiko’s traits are far clearer.

Selphie and Rikku from VIII and X respectively have that bright, optimistic aspect, and Rikku certainly is responsible for revealing some truths (for both Tidus and about Yuna), but while they’re both childlike/innocent in their way, I wanted someone who was actually a child.


No one guessed the card this week, but everyone who ventured did guess something right!

LightningEllen and Mr. Panda both went with Rikku who’s an alternate; Hungrygoriya went with Selphie who’s the same; and The Otaku Judge guessed Amarant(h) who is from the same game as Eiko.  I like when everyone wins 🙂

Next week is Judgment, and I’m kicking myself a bit, because I totally could’ve used Gabranth for that instead of the Justice card…but I suppose he fits that Major Arcana, as well, and I’m never one to turn down an intellectual challenge.  I do have something else in my notes (notice I said something and not someone), but I’m not sure yet if I’m going to go that route.  What this means is Judgment could be a person/character or it could be a place/thing.  Oh, and Judgment’s alternative name is The Angel, but that ship’s kind of sailed now hasn’t it?

Happy guessing!

<–XVIII The Moon                                                                                XX Judgment–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XVIII The Moon

<–XVII The Star                                                                                       XIX The Sun–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XVIII The Moon

the-moon-rydia

Picture of Rydia entitled Rydia by RobasArel

The Moon is a mysterious card, difficult to divine, enigmatic, and mysterious.  This bled into the meta, making it quite the challenge to pick a character who exemplified it.  Ironically, the prior Star card was swayed by the insightful input of my fellow bloggers when I was fairly certain on this point; however, though I was flexible on The Moon, in the end I decided to go with Rydia whom I choose a year ago when I first conceived of this project.  I suppose that even though the moon is changeable, it always comes back around 😉

This Major Arcana represents intellectual light as a mere reflection, and beyond it is an unknown mystery that cannot be revealed, esoteric knowledge.  Rydia is washed overboard by Leviathan and ends up in the Feymarch or fairy realm.  When she returns she has knowledge beyond mortal men.  She has been to the other side and come back.  The Moon is a card of that scary, dreamy, secret otherworld where the darkest of magic lies.


Alternates: Lucrecia Crescent (VII), Vincent Valentine (VII), Seifer (VIII), Auron (X)

I can’t believe it took me so long to make the connection with Lucrecia’s last name being freaking Crescent, and she most certainly possessed dark, esoteric knowledge that kept her from every finding peace.  Her self-imprisonment in crystal could be seen as an escape to another world where what she did and what she knows can cause her pain no more.

Vincent is similar with his self-imposed imprisonment in a coffin beneath the Shinra Mansion, the place where it all began.  He also has that dark side of Chaos, which while not activated by the moon, could almost be equated with werewolf mythos.  This is on top of the former Turk being aligned with vampire mythos, something I’ve always believed but can’t quite explain.  The coffin connection along with the moody-broody attitude and eternal regret help spur this along.  Squeenix has managed to create a character that encompasses both werewolf and vampire traits without being too over the top with either of that.  That’s freaking impressive.

Seifer from FFVII was another consideration due The Moon card also being associated with the fine line between psychopathy and genius.  Seifer fell in love with his idea of the romantic dream and pursued this ideal for better or worse.

Finally, Auron from X because of his in between state as an unsent.  He rides the line between Spira and the otherworld and is possessed of esoteric knowledge.


While no one picked Rydia, both guessers still win this week!  LightningEllen choose Auron who’s an alternate, and Mr. Panda opted for FuSoYa who is from the same game as Rydia 🙂

Next week’s card is The Sun, an undeniably optimistic card, representing joy, enlightenment, victory, and happiness among other things.

Good luck!

<–XVII The Star                                                                                       XIX The Sun–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XVII The Star

<–XVI The Tower                                                                              XVIII The Moon–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XVII The Star

the-star-yuna

This was the perfect example of a situation where your guesses/suggestions made me reexamine my choice.  When I first conceived of this project, I had another character from another game in mind (while I’ll elaborate on in the Alternates section), but quite a few things steered me in Yuna’s direction.

The Star is a card of hope and healing, and Yuna offers both of them to her world.  As a summoner she eases the burdens of the grieving by ensuring their deceased loved ones reach the Farplane, and throughout her pilgrimage she serves as a beacon of hope for all of Spira.  The water connection between the card and the character is also a good bridge.  Summoners are universally respected for their utterly unselfish sacrifice at the end of their journey to vanquish Sin, even if it is only for a short amount of time.  The dance continues and the spiral never ends.

Yuna truly becomes hope’s symbol (with Tidus’s influence) when she defies death’s destiny to break the cycle and vanquish Sin once and for all.  FFX, among other things, exemplifies the adage “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” to the point that there is a literal religion built up around the phrase of followers and fools.

Hm…now I’m considering a project where I figure out a phrase or adage for each Final Fantasy.  Prior to the paragraph above I only have one for FFVII (of course), but the “foolish consistency” is perfect for FFX.


Alternates: Terra (VI)

Terra was my first choice for this card based on the simplified version of the Pandora story that Banon, the leader of the Returners, relates to her.  He tells the young woman that she is the hope that remained in the box after all of the ills had flown out to infect the world.  I believe this works surface wise, but upon further rumination, Yuna is choice with far deeper ramifications.


Everyone wins this week! iplayedthegame, LightningEllen, and Mr. Panda all guessed correctly or you convinced me to change my initial stance.  Obviously, I still have to agree with the character proposed, but your guesses 100% make me reexamine the choices I’ve made 🙂

Next weeks card is The Moon, a symbol of mystery and esoteric knowledge.  I’ll be honest; I’m actually not sure who I’m going to go with for this one.  There are a few contenders, but nothing is set in stone.  Final Fantasy has a lot of hidden moon references, so shine your light in the darkest caverns, and maybe you’ll find the truth.

Happy guessing!

<–XVI The Tower                                                                              XVIII The Moon–>

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XVI The Tower

<–XV The Devil                                                                                      XVII The Star–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XVI The Tower

the-tower-kefkas-tower

 I played Final Fantasy VI long before I ever did my first tarot reading or even saw my first tarot deck, but the first time I saw the Tower card, I immediately thought of Kefka’s monolith to his own delusions of godhood.

The Final Fantasy series is riddled with nefarious towers, but Kefka’s always struck me as most aligned with the card, which speaks of sudden, disruptive, and potentially disastrous change.  The lightning striking it in the Major Arcana is reminiscent of the Light of Judgment the mad clown gleefully dishes out.  If you give the Devil any power in the previous card, the cataclysm of the Tower is what you then must face.


Alternates: The Tower of Babil (IV), The Shinra Tower (VII), Lunatic Pandora (VIII)

The Tower of Babil from FFIV that connects the core of the (false) Moon to the core of the Earth is awakened by Zemus/Zeromus for sinister motives.  VII’s Shinra Tower is of course the headquarters of the Planet killing corporation, and though the Lunatic Pandora isn’t technically a tower, it certainly presents as an ominous, monolithic structure.

lunatic-pandora

There are even more towers in the Final Fantasy series, arguably at least one in every iteration, but these three others stand out as close to what I believe exemplifies the Marjor Arcana card.


No happy guesses this week, and the series is starting to wind down.  There are five more Major Arcana cards left for you to take your chances on!

Next week’s card is The Star and the light of hope it can potentially bring.

<–XV The Devil                                                                                      XVII The Star–>

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